Brian was selected to exhibit “Black Mickey” in a special art gallery show celebrating multiculturalism at Gallery 1075.
Mickey Mouse was designed in 1928 as a mouse with human characteristics. It was a time in America foreign to much of what we see today with regard to race and segregation.
Disney originally designed Mickey to have an almost entirely black body: feet, legs, body, arms, hands, tail, top of head and ears were all black. Everything, except Mickey’s face, which was white.
Over the years Disney changed Mickey. He was given white gloves to cover his black hands. Yellow shoes covered his black feet. His head was modified to show more white face and reduce the blackness, and the white was replaced with an unmistakable Caucasian skin tone.
Black Mickey is an inspirational, yet important, parody of Mickey Mouse as a Caucasian character.
What if Mickey was a black character? Would the Disney Company and its films have been as successful? Would Walt have been willing to create a prominent African-American character during this time?
This depiction of Mickey Mouse as a black character also symbolizes the progress of civil rights in society today compared to decades ago.
Few, if anyone, today thinks the Disney company is racist. This powerful commentary on Mickey highlights the progress the company has made compared to characters it produced in the past. What is an accepted norm today was unthinkable in the past.
Mickey Mouse is adored by people around the world, of all colors. Why can’t Mickey share those colors? Barbie and super heroes have all changed with the times. And Mickey …
West Sacramento Community Center
1075 West Capitol Ave.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
The exhibition will be a part of a larger celebration at the West Sacramento Community Center during October.
A reception will be held on Saturday October 12th from 10am to 1pm.